A Funny anecdote in Finland by Wilde Bob Burgos

LAST GIG, HARROW, 1997, by Paul Green

In The middle of The Bewildered Crowd

Colin Solman, drummer and co/producer of the "Alive & Well" album, remembers:

"In 1979, Tim Green and I were based in Hamburg and touring with Mungo Jerry, when Tim got a call from Dave and the suggestion was made for us to get a band together and do some gigs with him. One of the venues was a longer stint in a huge circus tent put up right next to the Berlin Wall, called the Tempodrom. Dave had a devoted fan club in Berlin. They all used to turn up in Lord Sutch t-shirts and sang along with whatever Dave decided to sing. We were part of a show they called "A revue of the 60's", which not only featured music, dancers, magicians and circus artistes, but also had Buster Edwards on, describing his part in the Great Train Robbery. The whole thing had this feel about it, like back in the flower power days and the Roundabout at Chalk Farm, really raw stuff. We used to hang out with Buster a lot, who in fact was a great bloke with a heart of gold. We often had to carry him back to the hotel though....

I know that Dave was in his element. I remember he always used to bring his own tea machine with him, complete with teabags and a flask full of milk. When I asked him at our hotel why he took milk everywhere with him, he said "Cos milk is like gold dust in Germany, they only sell it in tiny tins." Because he never saw any bottles of milk anywhere and most Germans put Carnation in their coffee, he was under the impression that milk must be expensive, so he brought his own. It was on this tour by the way, that he began thanking Germans for services rendered with the expression "Donkey shit" - his version of dankeschoen!

Sometime during the tour, Dave mentioned wanting to do a new album, so we decided to sort it out. A friend of mine in Hamburg was just building a new recording studio and we asked him if we could do a deal. He was more than chuffed at recording an album with Dave and so Dave, Tim and I began selecting material. Dave wanted to revamp some of his old stuff, but also thought it would be good to do some brand new songs. Tim and I spent a couple of weeks writing some new numbers and presented them to Dave, who really liked them. We recorded two of them for the new album: "Murder in the Peep Show" and "We're only here for the Blood". While we were in the studio, which was located very near to the notorious Reeperbahn, several big name artists were in Hamburg doing gigs, so I decided to go backstage and ask some of them if they had the time and would fancy making a guest appearance on Dave's latest album. I had spoken to Richie Blackmore one night in the Top Ten Club, as I thought it would be great to get one of Dave's old heavy friend's on the album, but he had to leave for a tour at the time we got into the studio.

So I asked Rick Nielsen, the guitarist with Cheap Trick (appearing at the newly re-opened Star Club), who just said: "Shit, yeah. Right after the gig? Sure thing. Can you bring me back to the hotel after?" That said, we drove him and his guitar in our old beaten up VW Beetle to the studio around midnight, he plugged in and played on almost all of the tracks, including some we just improvised in the studio. Rick was great and so enthusiastic and he and Dave got on like a house on fire. When we drove him back to his hotel (at about 6 am!), he just asked us to work out the legal side of his appearance and said how much he had enjoyed it.

The next night, Pat Travers and his band were in town, so we did the same thing again, only this time, Pat's bassist, Mars Cowling also wanted in on it, so, after the gig, we drove both of them down to the studio. Pat began playing this riff, we joined in - all live stuff - and "Travers Blues" evolved, which is also featured on the album.

Some of the photos on the back of the album sleeve we took in Hamburg. there was an exhibition on at a museum about ghouls and vampires, so we though it would make great backdrop. When the staff saw Dave dressed up in his usual attire and wielding a knife, they told us to sod off, but we still managed to get a few pictures done. Theres also a picture of Dave, Tim and I with Herbert, our recording engineer, in front of Dave's London home.

We had a whole bunch of talented people work on the album with us, like Klaus Voormann, who should be known to many and a weird, but cool French saxophonist called Richard Prut. We found a record company that went by the inspired title of Music Distributor, and their label, Babylon. Unfortunately, they had few outlets, so we didn't exactly go gold, but it was definitely another milestone in the life of one of our most illustrious artists - Lord Sutch!

I remember hearing of his death - it was really sad. He was such a funny fella, but there was sadness deep down inside too. Tim says he never got over the loss of his mum and that he probably decided to follow her. Wherever he is now, I bet he's got a shit-hot band."

Chris "Pluck", lead guitarist for the Undertakers, remembers:

"Happy memories of the Savages. I think it was 1998 or 1999 and I was playing in Hamburg as lead guitarist for the Undertakers. After wandering the streets of Hamburg for hours I decided to go downstairs to a little cellar club for a beer. The Undertakers carried on exploring and downstairs I was greeted by the Savages ( Sutchy was resting) who made me very welcome. Later on my band returned and a great night was had by all. We were all playing at a large venue in Hamburg the following night but we partied to the wee small hours. The pub was called the Rattenkeller and the Undertakers always visited it whenever we returned to Hamburg.
Great memories, have a good gig y'all,"

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